In 2019, Mutual of Omaha, an Omaha-based insurer will begin selling Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage. They have partnered up with Lumeris, a St. Louis company that will handle the health provider networks, and healthcare solutions.
The Kaiser Family Foundation recorded that one in three Medicare recipients are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. They project the number to rise to nearly 41 percent by the year 2027.
James Blackledge, the Mutual Chairman and CEO said “Our entrance into the Medicare Advantage market represents a significant step forward for Mutual of Omaha as we strive to respond to customer needs and offer a meaningful suite of senior health solutions. We’re confident that our collaboration with Lumeris will lead to better health outcomes for our Medicare Advantage customers.”
Mutual started in 1909, and has been one of the first providers of Medicare Supplement plans. But recently Medicare Supplement plan sales have been declining, while Advantage sales have increased.
Lumeris has over 10 years of experience with Medicare Advantage plans, even starting their own called Essence Healthcare, which has about 65,000 members in the St. Louis area. They have built a value-based model to provide seniors with better health for a lower cost while providing a better patient and physician experience. The company functions to help other medical providers deliver better care and financial outcomes by its value-based care model.
“Our new initiative with Mutual of Omaha is exciting because it enables both of our companies to build on our successes while remaining laser-focused on what matters most—delivering the highest quality care to seniors,” said Lumeris Chairman and CEO Mike Long. “This new partnership also leverages each company’s unique strengths to benefit the larger healthcare ecosystem. Together, we will make a deeper, more meaningful difference in the lives of patients and providers.”
The alliance between the companies will allow Mutual of Omaha to continue to lead in the senior health market. Mutual will provide Medicare Advantage plans, while Lumeris will evaluate markets, and establish networks.
A Mutual executive vice president, Brad Beuchler said that the plans will have narrow networks. The networks will be limited as to how many physicians, hospitals and care providers to choose from. This way there will be reduced costs while improving efficiency and medical outcomes.
The multiyear agreement is expected to be ready by Medicare open enrollment October 15, and the plans taking effect January 1, 2019. This will hopefully provide better healthcare quality with lower costs for seniors.